Brown-Blooded

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Breaking not so new news:  a young Mexican boy was shot and killed by an older white male. But don’t you worry your pretty little heads about it, because the shooter was not racist! 
It was nothing but a freak accident. He was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

The victim you ask? He was most likely named Pedro, Fernando, or Carlos. We know that he dropped out of high school and he was probably up to no good anyways.

17. 

17 years old: life ended.

17 years old: life had barely begun

17 years old: shot in the head

I wonder if he bled red, or a caramel brown like the color of his skin- I wonder if he bled the same damn blood that we all bleed.

I wonder if his heart stopped- I wonder if his mother cried.

I wonder if he was just like you. 

Rewind to 16, when his teachers gave up on him, because he had given up on himself, because he knew he would never attend attend college as an American citizen, because he knew that though he had lived in America all of his life

He was not an American citizen. 

16 when he turned to petty crime like marijuana and pick-pocketing. 
What a hardened criminal delinquent.

Or go back to 13 when he was labeled a problem child. 

Because 13 years is long enough to be a problem or at least an inconvenience.

13 is enough to realize that our system is not flawless.

13 years is long enough to notice the difference in the way he talk. He don't speak proper English yet. You think his parents speak English? No, so how he supposed to get better.

But no, he’s a problem.

Poor kid’s not smart enough to stay ahead.

Poor kid had a late start learning the language you speak to him every day.

Poor kid couldn’t fully understand instruction till about 3rd grade. 

Poor kid’s still expected to translate every criticism you give him to his own parents.

So you round him up with all of the other kids branded idiots. 

A group made prisoners to our system for the rest of their god given lives. 

11 was the first time he got suspended

Noncompliance. 

He lost instructional days direly needed because he didn’t do what Ms. Teacher said fast enough.

But that's okay.

She knew his type. She knew who he hung out with. 

He was probably up to no good anyways.

10 was the first time he got called a beaner. 

10 he started to realized his skin was different than everyone else’s.  

10: his friends asked him if he was legal. He couldn’t answer. He knew the truth, but he couldn’t answer. 

So at 10 he started hanging out with kids like him. But they were the bad kids. Or everyone seemed to think so. 

8: he finally started to understand everything his teacher said. But it was too late. He was already far too far behind to ever catch up.

He dove into a curriculum with little prior knowledge. Not understanding the instruction he was given before.

Still reading at a 1st grade level, he tried so hard, but not a  person would help.

What about his parents, you ask?

Ellos no hablan ingles. 

6: he started school in the country of freedom. 

He couldn’t speak English. He was just learning how to speak Spanish. 

6: his teachers weren’t allowed to translate for him. 6: his teachers spoke AMERICAN.

At 6 he has been set up for failure. His Latin roots strangling him due to the society we created. 

So the true Americans end up on top. 

So you see

It doesn’t matter if the shooter wasn't racist. And this has happened far too often to be a freak accident.

What matters is a boy is dead.

What matters is nothing is done. 

What matters is that those on the bottom stay at the bottom. That the at-risk youth never get the chance to surpass their classification.

That the poor are still blamed for their social standing.

That the disadvantaged are kicked down further.

And that this is not a unique story

But another example destined to fall to deaf ears

5 years old: His mama and papa risked everything to cross the border so that their one and only son could live a long- happy- life.

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